Child support is a monetary payment for the benefit of the child/children. The payments are made by one parent to the parent who has physical custody of the child.
Eligibility of Child Support:
Parents must support their minor children including adopted and second - parent adopted children, and children conceived through the use of assisted reproduction. Normally, step-children and grandchildren are not included.
Child Support Calculations
Click here to use our child support calculator.
All courts in California must follow the California statewide uniform guidelines in determining the amount of child support to order.
Courts use computer calculation programs that incorporate the guidelines and that have been certified by the Judicial Council to calculate child support payments. However, the calculation can be done manually.
The formula can be found in the statewide uniform guidelines.
CS = K (HN – (H%) (TN)
CS= child Support
K = the amount of each parents’ income that is set aside for child support
under the guidelines
HN = the high earner’s net monthly disposable income
H% = the estimated percentage of time that the high earner has or will have physical custody for the child/children. When parents have different time-sharing provisions for different children, H% equals the average of the estimated percentage of time the high earner spends with each child.
TN = the total amount of net monthly disposable income of each parent
K= the amount of each parent’s income set aside for child support. It equals one plus H% if H% is less than or equal to 50% or 2 – H% if H% is more than 50% times the following fraction:
Total Net Disposable Income Per Month K $0-800 0.20 + TN/16,000 $801-6,666 0.25 $6,667-10,000 0.10 + 1,000/TN Over $10,000 0.12 + 800/TN
Courts must analyze certain factors found under the statewide uniform guidelines:
- A parent’s duty is to support his/her minor child/children
- Both parents are jointly responsible for the support of their child/children
- Each parent’s income and share of responsibility for the child/children is taken into account
- Each parent should pay an amount of child support based on his/her ability to do so
- California ’s top priority is in the interest of the child
- Children should have the same standard of living as their parents. Consequently, child support may improve the standard of living of the parent whom the child resides with
- When both parents share custody of the child/children the amount of child support should cover the increased costs of raising the child/children in two homes and the amount should decrease significant differences in the child/children’s living standards in the two homes.
- Private financial resources should be used to meet the financial needs of the child/children
- A parent who has primary physical custody of the child/children is presumed to contribute a significant share of resources for the support of the child/children
- Fair and efficient conflict settlements between parents is encouraged as it minimizes the need for litigation
- Children must receive fair, timely, and sufficient support that reflects California’s high standard of living and high costs of raising children.
- Tax filing status of both parents
- Child support payments for the benefit of children from other relationships
- Health insurance costs ( Parents are required to provide health insurance for their children if it is free or it can be obtain at a reasonable cost.)
- Required union dues
- Required retirement payments
- Costs associated with daycare and healthcare costs for the uninsured
- Special needs costs such as traveling expenses associated from traveling from one parent’s house to the other parent’s house, educational costs, etc.
Parents do not need to follow the guideline amounts if they can reach an agreement. Their agreement can reflect a different amount than the one arrived at by using the approved calculations. They can also agree to provide child support for a child who reaches 18 years of age or who already is an adult.
Modification of Child Support Payments: A parent seeking to modify payments must show a change of circumstances.
Child Support ends
- Child support ends based on the marital agreement, if applicable.
- When the child marries
- When the child dies
- When the child is emancipated
- When the child reaches 18 years of age and is not enrolled as a full-time high school student or when the child reaches 19 years of age